Police, military assure: No terror threat in Cebu
CEBU, Philippines — Security forces have assured that the twin bombings in Jolo cathedral Sunday morning that killed at least 20 people will not happen in Cebu.
Lt. Gen. Noel Clement, commander of the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Central Command, said they have coordinated with other law enforcement agencies to intensify intelligence monitoring.
“I have directed all units under CentCom to undertake measures to ensure that such incidents will not happen. Likewise close coordination with all counterparts from security sector are undertaken such as, intelligence monitoring, to monitor any terrorist threats in the area. We likewise call on the citizenry to report to authorities any suspicious activity,” Clement said.
Cebu City Police Office director Senior Supt. Royina Garma said that all field commanders were instructed to beef up the security around the churches. Garma also urged the different churches to hire more security personnel.
Cebu Provincial Police Office director Senior Supt. Manuel Abrugena also said that efforts are in place to preempt any untoward incident.
“We are working hand in hand with the AFP and other intelligence community to prevent terror activities in the island. We have in place security measures in all places of convergence mam as part of our target hardening measures,” Abrugena said.
Abrugena also assured that they have not monitored imminent threat in the southern part of Cebu. He said all station commanders were tasked to double the security not only in churches but also in areas of convergence.
The assurance from the police and the military officials came in the wake of the twin bombings that hit Our Lady of Mount Carmel Cathedral in Jolo, Sulu last Sunday. Two improvised explosive devices were set off inside the church and the parking lot killing 12 civilians and six soldiers. There were also 82 others wounded – 65 civilians and 17 soldiers.
The bombings triggered another travel advisory from the United Kingdom. The Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) of the Embassy of United Kingdom warned its citizens from travelling to Mindanao excluding Camiguin, Dinagat and Siargao Islands. Also included in the advisory are the southern towns of Cebu, particularly Dalaguete and Badian.
“The Foreign Commonwealth Office advise against all travel to western and central Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago because of terrorist activity and clashes between the military and insurgent groups. The FCO advise against all but essential travel,” the advisory reads.
Clement said that the AFP general headquarters has already taken efforts to assure the Embassy of United Kingdom that there is no threat in the Visayas, particularly Cebu. (FREEMAN)